- Money allows you to live the life you want to live, if you spend it appropriately.
- Certain things are worth splurging on, like products or services that will earn you more money in the future, education, and experiences.
- Here are six things that are worth buying, according to a financial expert.
When making a buying decision, do you often go cheap because you’re saving money for a rainy day? Or do you splurge because you like the best and no one knows what tomorrow will bring?
There are certain criteria that people who are good with money consider when deciding whether to splurge on a purchase.
“They’re not surprised by unexpected expenses, because they have a plan in place for that kind of thing. They also have a plan in place for the good things,” Palmer told Business Insider, like vacations or their children’s college tuition.
She also said that splurging is just not for everyone. You shouldn’t splurge if you have credit card debt or are already spending more than you have the budget for, Palmer said. “A good rule of thumb to determine if you are overspending is to apply the 50/30/20 budgeting method, where 50% of your budget goes to needs, 20% to savings and debt repayment, and 30% to wants.”
If you’re wondering what items are worth spending a little more on, here are six things that smart people splurge on:
1. Products that earn you more money
- Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Purchases that help you advance in your work are a good investment, according to Palmer. Her list includes a professional outfit for your first day of work, a good laptop, or a reliable car, if that’s important to your livelihood. “All the tools that allow you to do better,” she said, are worth a bit of a splurge.
Palmer added that coaching can be a good career investment for entrepreneurs and employees alike. “Whatever is hard for you and challenging for you, investing in a coach to help you with that,” she said, is a worthwhile investment.
2. Services that save you time
Get your groceries delivered instead of going to the store. Send your laundry out or hire a house cleaner. If you could theoretically spend that time at work and earn more than you spend on those services, you come out ahead, Palmer said.
A common theme in Palmer’s advice is to splurge on things that give you more time to enjoy your life. “To me, money is all about giving you the life that you want, and that usually means spending time in the ways that make you happy,” she said. “The best thing you can do with your money is to use it to free up time.”
3. High-value rewards cards
Premium travel reward cards can come with hefty fees – the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example, costs $450 per year. But for some people, the fee can be worth it.
“If you spend a lot of money on travel and want to redeem a lot of rewards on travel,” Palmer said, these cards offer a better value than mileage cards with no annual fees.
It all depends on how much you travel and how much you charge to the card, but Palmer noted that you could earn thousands of dollars in miles or points with a premium rewards card, which makes the annual fee a smart splurge.
4. High-quality cookware and kitchen appliances
- Africa Studio/Shutterstock
When it comes to cooking tools, Palmer thinks a few expensive purchases can really pay off. “I always splurge on this,” she said. “You can save so much money by cooking at home.”
Add the health benefits of home cooked meals over restaurant food, and a splurge that makes cooking fun is a good investment.
Palmer’s go-to kitchen indulgence is a Nespresso coffee machine. She said that she has more than recouped the cost of the appliance by forgoing $4 lattes. “I think it saves time too,” she said, noting that, in the time it takes to get to the coffee shop, wait in line, and get her order, she could be sitting in her kitchen enjoying a good cup of homemade coffee made just the way she likes it.
Palmer’s personal favorite splurge is her monthly membership is Barre 3. “It feels good and it gives me more energy,” she said of the streaming workouts. An experience that improves your health and quality of life can be a good target for a splurge.
6. A few select things that bring you pleasure
“A great splurge to one person is a waste of money to someone else,” Palmer said.
If you love photography, a camera is a great investment. If blurry selfies are good enough for you, the camera in your phone is all you need.
“It depends so much on what gives you pleasure, and that’s the best splurge for you,” she said.